Sharpen Edges Tutorial

We all have them… shots we like but are just slightly out of focus. Well, here’s a way to correct them or at least bring life to them or to use on a good photo to make it really wow. We’re going to learn to sharpen the edges.  Keep in mind your eye is always the main gauge of how much so the settings vary from one photo to the next.

I know there are many sharpening tools, but I prefer to only sharpen the edges. You can rescue a slightly out-of-focus shot or simply enhance one. So here’s how I do it…

First, I make a Duplicate of the photo in Photoshop. Image/Duplicate, name it Edge Mask.

Then I do a channel mixing on the Duplicate Image. If you have a bunch of layers, flatten image first. Image/Adjustment/Channel Mixer

You need to click the box ‘monochrome’ and move the sliders to acheive a CONTRAST. That’s what you’re going for is contrast. Your own eye has to tell you when you’ve acheived that. But here is a screen shot that I used for this Flying Bee Photo.




Then save as Grayscale. Image/Mode/Grayscale

 Next we’re going to find the edges.



Then we’re going to soften them just a touch by adding a Gaussian Blur of about 1 to 2pixels. Filters/Blur/Gassian Blurr. Then select 1 or 2 pixels.

 Then we go back to the Image tab and invert the edge mask. Image/Invert. Then Image/Adjustments/Levels

edgesharpentut3.jpg   edgesharpentut03.jpg

 Next we open our photo that needs sharpening. And choose Select/Load Image and choose from the dropdown list ‘edge mask’.

You will see the ‘ants’ on the edges in the picture. You can hide them (ctrl-H) or leave them…. I prefer to hide them. Then go to Filter/Sharpen/Unsharp mask. and make your adjustment until you think you have acheived the correct amount of sharpening.

Two examples of before and after:





~ by Jayleen on April 29, 2007.

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